Lockdown freedoms begin today despite premier’s dire warning

·2-min read

Fully-vaccinated Sydneysiders will be able to enjoy an easing of some Covid lockdown restrictions from today, despite the NSW premier warning that the toughest months are yet to come.

As of Monday, up to five fully-vaccinated adults who live outside the councils of concern can gather outdoors within five kilometres of their home.

There is no time limit for the gatherings but fines will apply if any of the five members of the group have not had their second jab.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks during a press conference in Sydney, Sunday. Source: AAP
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian held her last live Covid presser on Sunday. Source: AAP

"If one of the group of five is not fully vaccinated, the entire group may be breaching the public health order," a NSW Health spokesperson told ABC.

"People over 16 must carry proof of address and vaccination status."

Vaccinated households that live in the 12 local government areas of concern will be able to gather outdoors for recreation, including for a picnic, for up to two hours within five kilometres of home.

That’s on top of the hour of allowed time for outdoor exercise but residents must still abide by the 9pm to 5am curfew.

The 12 LGAs of concern are: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith.

Elsewhere, thousands of residents across the state's northeast and southwest enjoyed their second day of freedom in weeks as stay-at-home restrictions lifted on Saturday for regional centres such as Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga and Albury.

Police patrol Bondi beach, in Sydney, Saturday, September 11, 2021. Source: AAP
Police patrol large crowds that gathered in Bondi over the weekend. Source: AAP

Premier's warning: Most challenging months ahead

The move comes after NSW recorded 1,262 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases and seven deaths on Sunday.

The seven deaths reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday include a man in his 20s from western Sydney and six people from south-western Sydney in their 40s, 50s, 70s and 80s.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned in her last 11am live media conference on Sunday that there had been some stabilisation of infection numbers in the local government areas of concern, but the virus was "picking up pace" in certain suburbs like Glebe, Camperdown, Redfern and Waterloo.

"We can't afford to let our guard down," she said.

While defending her decision to scrap her daily live-streamed briefings, Ms Berejiklian told NSW residents "the next two months will be the most challenging our state has seen perhaps ever."

With AAP

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